The definitive book for vampire fiction is well written but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy read. By today’s standards Dracula is slow to unfold, with long, often tedious sections, including dialogue that doesn’t up the conflict or push the story forward much. The use of diary entries, letters, ships logs etc. to tell the story may give the book an authentic feel and does a good job of keeping the evil ones mysterious but it doesn’t always engage the reader as much as a conventional novel might. But the sinister stuff is exactly that, well drawn and eerie, and stands the test of time. Numerous descriptions of female vampires lovingly detailed as voluptuous creatures of death put to rest any doubt that vampirism was (and is) a metaphor for forbidden sexuality.
“There lay Lucy, seemingly just as we had seen her the night before her funeral. She was, if possible, more radiantly beautiful than ever; and I could not believe that she was dead. The lips were red, nay redder than before; and on the cheeks was a delicate bloom.”
I can’t imagine what it must have been like to read Dracula in 1897.
Bram Stoker was far ahead of his time with this novel.